Back to school. It comes at the end of every summer, a hectic cycle of buying uniforms, stationery, and sports kits before school starts in September. This time though things are different. After eighteen months of social distancing measures and lockdowns, we are now learning to live with Covid with fewer restrictions in place.Here are a few things to keep in mind as your children return to school:
The Vaccine Roll Out
Around 88% of adults in England have had at least one dose of the vaccine, with 76% having had both doses. This means the majority of teachers returning to school will have been offered the vaccination. Furthermore, 16-and 17-year-olds and children aged 12 to 15 with specific underlying health conditions or who live with others at increased risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19 are now eligible for the vaccine. This combined with regular, rapid Covid-19 testing means a reduced risk of infection when your kids go back to school.
Face To Face Learning Continues
Parents, children, and teachers have all done their best to make education possible throughout the pandemic. But the benefit of face-to-face teaching can’t be overstated. Kids going back to school and continuing in-person learning means teachers can directly engage with students and provide assistance more easily. This means students that struggled with virtual classes are once again getting the full education experience to help them achieve their potential.
Socialising Across The Whole School
Human beings are social creatures and getting to interact with other kids is integral to a child’s emotional development. They can now enjoy more freedom in their schools, allowing them to mix more with friends and other year groups at lunch and breaktimes. Socialising isn’t just good for emotional development it’s good for education. For the first time in over a year, children can take part in more group sports again in PE and work together in applied learning activities like music, cooking, drama, and science.
Covid Is Less Harmful In Children
We’ve all been there before; you have the flu but somehow your kid just gets a runny nose. Children are robust and it’s the same when it comes to Covid. The risk of children suffering from severe illness if they do catch Covid 19 is very low. Moreover, the vaccination of certain groups and rapid testing of staff and older students reduce the risk of infection in schools and colleges.
Safety Precautions Are In Place
Measures to reduce transmission are still being followed to make schools as safe as possible. As well as regular, rapid Covid testing of staff and secondary school and college students there will also be regular hand washing, high cleaning standards, keeping spaces well ventilated, and following public health advice on managing confirmed cases.
Getting kids back to a more familiar routine is vital for their health and wellbeing, that is why the measures in place strike a balance between making schools as safe as possible while reducing disruption by removing bubbles and face coverings.
All schools should have plans in place on what to do if pupils, students, or staff test positive for COVID-19, or how they would operate if they were advised to reintroduce any measures. But for now, schools are back, and teachers are excited and ready to welcome all children, and kids get to learn, play and just generally be kids again.
To find out more about what to expect when pupils return to school/college in September visit gov.uk/backtoschool